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LETTER OF THE DAY - Dr Taylor and 'rum bar' talk

Published:Saturday | April 14, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

In Dr Orville Taylor's column 'Easter myths and demons', published Sunday, April 8, 2012, he made a few unsubstantiated comments. I prefer to refer to them as corner talk or rum bar discussions, statements not thoroughly researched or, at bare minimum, Googled to check accuracy.

The first of statement to be addressed is the reference to Jesus Christ as a 'loudmouth'. Obviously, Christ was much more than a speaker, as his work not only increased his popularity but also facilitated him being added as a threat to the Jewish hierarchy and, ultimately, the Roman Empire. Surely, there were many such 'loudmouths', but none of their sepulchres was guarded by Romans. Since Christ was now dead and no longer a threat, what was the value of placing trained Roman soldiers to guard the sepulchre? Should not the emphasis be placed on the living and not the dead?

The practice of crucifixion ensures death and was sometimes sped up depending on the circumstance. The Romans ensured that all the enemies of state were dead. It was a dead person that was placed in the sepulchre.

Different burial practice

Second, the Jewish burial practice is totally different from the Western 6' 6" standard. It included preparing the body by washing, filling with spices and ointments, wrapping the body properly and placing in a sepulchre for a year. Afterwards, the bones are later gathered and placed in an ossuary and moved to a mass grave.

As was the custom, the same would apply to Jesus, and his body left in the sepulchre, though not spiced, as the time of his death was close to the Sabbath observance.

A Roman soldier is no 'guardie', but a trained and disciplined man of war. The same Romans who despite the odds defeated both Carthage and England through determination and discipline. The cost of mutiny was death; likewise, the cost of losing your prisoner was death. No one could pay off 'guardie', as it was a life-and-death issue, and for these soldiers it was death before dishonour.

Who was Jesus?

Third, Jesus walked among the people but so many had no idea what he looked like. Hence the need for Judas to identify him to his captors. If this is the case, why does it seem unthinkable for Jesus to have walked among the people and ONLY those who knew him took notice.

Finally, while I do understand that there are some who believe that the Gospel writings are wrong, I have not yet met the person who could prove it. Imagine if neo-Nazis were to teach their members that Hitler won World War II! If the Early Christians accepted the Gospels as truth, why am I, 1,900 years later, trying to dispute it?

Dr Taylor needs to remember the reason for which he is called doctor - hours of research. Please leave the corner talk to the uneducated like myself, who delight in surfing the Internet for whatever wealth of information to be attained there.

PETER NEIL

peterlneil@yahoo.com